Tractor Cake for a 3 Year-Old!

I rarely have parties, and when I do (usually just my kiddos’ birthdays), I like to do it up right. This year, I guess I was just pregnant and disorganized enough to not do too much. I did make a cake, though! My son and I spent a couple hours poring over Flickr photos of birthday cakes and tractors. I found a lot of cakes I liked, but a fairly simple design is what caught my son’s eye. His favorite elements: The giant 3 road, the actual toy tractors pouring “asphalt” on the road (he is an expert on all things construction, and even knows how a road is made), and the background color: green (“beause green’s my favorite!”)

My decorating isn’t professional-level or anything, but my son loved the cake, and everyone else at the party agreed that it looked good. It’s simple, but it still took me about two hours to decorate (including mixing up the buttercream frosting). I was pleased with the blackness of the frosting (I used black food coloring and cocoa powder to darken it) – when I first mixed it up, I didn’t think it would actually look black. It looked grey-brown. But, frosting darkens over a short period of time, so it settled into an acceptable level of blackness by party-time. The asphalt crumbles are ground Oreos (I used my coffee grinder to make them into crumbs), and I got the trucks specially for the cake (they came in a pack of 3, and I saved one for my younger son to “open” during the party so he would have a present as well).

I didn’t do any other decorating, but we had the party at a nearby Antique Tractor Museum (outdoor), and we picnicked among vintage tractor equipment, which was a huge hit with the under-3 set!